I know, I know, Earth Day is a month away. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start thinking about making preparations for when it arrives.
So, what is this about, really?
Day to day I both learn about and see – both with and without the aid of vision correction (read: “eyeglasses”) – struggle, strife, challenge, setback. That said, perhaps it’s the eternal optimist in me that, through it all, I see hope. When it comes to the earth and its being in the shape it’s in, hope is good to hold onto. So far, so good?
So, I look within, at my own life’s experiences. Some good, others bad: most, probably neither.
Then there’s the hype. And, I gotta tell you, some real doozies here.
There’s that ongoing one about California falling into the sea. Do you see what I mean? Then there was the Y2K scare. Y2K came and went and hardly any repercussions. And, if there was any fallout it was the stir it caused. And, what that would have been about more than anything else was Y2K-subscriber fear, all erased of course as soon as the “date-o-meter,” so to speak, actually flipped over to year 2000. In other words, the transition proved uneventful, us coming through it completely unscathed. But this is exactly the type of force disturbance that unfounded hype can cause.
Now, this isn’t to say there weren’t any close calls. On the contrary. History is proof of that. All one need do is think of the dinosaurs and how they became extinct. Even as devastating an event as the dinosaur demise was, life somehow, some way was perpetuated. It’s quite amazing when you think about it.
Hype is something some see with global warming. With others, they go farther, calling it a hoax. Meanwhile, based on what I understand, 97 percent of the scientific community, beg to differ. And, about such, there is intense debate. “Is it happening?” “Has human activity contributed?” “If its effects go unchecked, will there be massive population die-offs?” These are very real concerns and legitimate they are, whether one subscribes to the global warming/climate change notion or not.
But, whether one does or doesn’t, what is absolutely irrefutable is the presence of pollution in air. It’s undeniable. Undeniable, irrefutable though air pollution is, the concern over such, is it significant enough to move the world’s people to organize in an effort to rid the air of such? Though I’m seeing some evidence, it is not yet across the board.
Explaining this might be an overarching the-economy-versus-the-environment mind-set. At this juncture, I take a moment to look back in history and reflect on Earth Day’s beginning – April 22, 1970, and to take time to remember Earth Day’s founder, a U.S. Senator, in this case Senator Gaylord Nelson, who was once quoted as saying: “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.”
And, what does this mean? To me, it means if we don’t have or at least take care of the environment in the world in which we inhabit, there won’t be an economy, plain and simple. Words that could not ring truer.
Yet, the fight, struggle, conflict, battle of note, even after all this time, concerning ending or ridding the pollution that has fouled and discolored much of our air, has also negatively affected people’s lives as well as livelihoods in some cases. This, here, is reason enough for me to do my part, as little as this may be, to make air that I and others around me breathe more healthy.
All of which brings me to the main point of this post and that is: we should each and every one of us do what is necessary to ensure humanity’s perpetuation, “failure,” to quote a line in Apollo 13, “is not an option.” Where life is concerned, there is no room for error; it’s imperative we get this right.
So, with that, how will you be observing Earth Day 2017? And, since one obviously good question deserves another, why limit giving the air, land and water a break for one 24-hour period only, eh?
– Alan Kandel